Yesterday I opened a discussion about words and took it a way forward.
I’m a self-taught non-expert.
Like most of you readers, I’ve been a user of words since infancy; but I’ve been used by words without realising this. These pieces are a journey of discovery, exploring and explaining to myself at first, how this seems to have come about and I feel it’s pertinent enough for others to get something from my effort. Let’s see if that’s true to some extent…
Words are given to us gradually in infancy and then from childhood onwards we become slightly more active in this process, choosing which of the thousands available we want to give a seal of approval to, by their use and reuse. We’re too busy using them to look much at what they involve in themselves.
“I “is a word but what does it mean actually?So is “I will” and “maybe later on”. Our experience gradually broadens our understanding and capabilities in this area.
As time goes on, there’s little impetus to examine them as bits-in-themselves , any more than one examines one’s fingers, skin or teeth, unless they become sore or damaged that is, or start falling off/out. My name becomes “me” and “I” gradually- but permanently too.
Children speak most of the time , just because they have information to convey or they talk just for the sheer joy of it- and some children do this just talk and talk; maybe it’s the enjoyment of being able to say things and communication in general that one’s involved in and it’s also a bonding thing with one’s friends, family and companions.
There’s the slightly odd sight of a child talking to him/herself and taking different roles and maybe playing at being older that he/she is currently by enacting itself through some situation, playing school, shopping , going to the beach or on a picnic…
If a child does not engage in these activities at all it can be a sign of something amiss, a cause for concern. Why not one asks, why doesn’t so-and-so ever speak, we say.
So it’s like using one’s limbs being active, playing all that stuff. Animals play and make noises but they don’t have the access to a bank of WORDS that humans have and pass on from one generation to another and across cultures and continents.
So does this collection of words, this word bank have any influence on us growing up and does the structure of language itself determine how each one of us “sees” (in the sense of understanding )The World around us and comes to establish something inside us without “us” being aware of this event/process?
It’s a question and maybe here questioning is a way of looking at something reflexively, from slightly outside being totally immersed within its sphere of influence, for a moment.